Apollo Program for Biomass Liquids What Will it Take?. Michael R. Ladisch Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering Agricultural and Biological Engineering Purdue University. Corn. Source: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation . Supply Chain. Sun. Water. Grow. Harvest.
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What Will it Take?
Michael R. Ladisch
Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Source: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation
Trucking the feedstock
Trips of 5 to 40 miles, one way, for corn
12 cents per bushel corn
4.6 cents per gallon ethanol
$ 5 / ton (dry basis) corn
10 cents per cu. ft. corn
Maier and Ileleji, 2006
Corn Weighs more than Corn Stover (Cellulose)translates to larger storage volumes for cellulose feedstock for a given ethanol production
Corn Stover (Cellulose)
Delivery to markets Infrastructure
2006 4.8 (corn)
2008 7.5 (corn + cellulose)
2015 12.0 (corn + more cellulose)
2030 60.0 (a lot of cellulose+ corn)
It will happen here
Sets stage for Cellulose Ethanol
From NREL Website, 2005
Hydrolysis of Solids
Pretreatmentgives enzyme accessible substrate
Fermentable sugars obtained from cellulose in 1819
(need special yeast to convert to ethanol)
Chapple, 2006; Ladisch, 1979
Ho et al
From Cellulose: 50 to 55 gal / ton
From Xylan: 30 to 35 gal / ton
Total: 80 to 85 gal / ton.
Corresponds to about 250,000 tons /yr for 20 million gal per year plant
Requires engineered yeast, pretreatment cellulase enzymes
Fermentable sugars are the feedstock
Products in addition to ethanol
Acetic, Lactic acid
Microbial polysaccahrides (for enhanced oil recovery)
Ladisch et al, 1979; 1991
Identified over 1100 genes involved in cell wall construction
Generated over 900 mutants in Arabidopsis and 200 in maize; maize mutants represent a resource of genetic diversity for feedstock testing
Characterized cell walls of these materials using spectroscopic, chemical, and imaging assays
Identified novel cell-wall genes that can contribute to feedstock diversity
Used genetics and molecular biology to analyze the functions of cell-wall gene products
*Supported by the NSF Plant Genome Research and REU Programs
Chapple and Meilan, 2006
Elbersen, Wageningen, 2004
Assuming 50 gal x 40 mpg
Learning and engagement to illustrate science and engineering as agents of change
Transfer discovery from laboratory to the field or plant in a contiguous high tech / biotech / agriculture corridor
Combine engineering, science and agriculture to catalyze of sustainable growth of a US bioenergy sector
Work is not complete until it proven valuable to industry.
Utilize biomass materials from a wide range of sources:
Apply biotechnology and nanotechnology to
develop bio-catalytic conversion routes
Fixed bed catalysts
Designer crops for bio-energy production
Bioprocess Engineering built around advanced biocatalysts (yeasts, enzymes, fixed bed catalysts) that process designer crops
High energy corn that maximizes polysaccharides rather than oil or protein
Understand role of forages (switchgrass) and wood poplar grown for energy crops
Seeds for the same
Industrial Test Beds
“Increasing energy consumption, coupled with decreased petroleum supplies, has made development of alternate energy sources a pressing national problem.
“Changes in technology and philosophy will be required in order to establish a renewable resource base for the …industry.
“Utilizing cellulosics as this basis, we are tapping the earth’s most abundant and readily renewable resource, while providing our industry with relatively inexpensive, and reliable, raw materials.
Quote from 1979.